Simply stated, Search Engine Optimization (or SEO, because abbreviation is cooler than cool) is the key to bringing organic traffic to your website via search engines. Expert SEO audit and analysis help us gain insight into the best ways to boost your website ranking on Google, Bing, and other search sites. Because we’re living in a digital world, the majority of the travel process—Dreaming, Planning, Booking, Experiencing, and Sharing—takes place online, just like most customer experience. You want people to find your website, and a solid SEO Strategy is the way to make that happen. Here’s how:
Step 1: Audit & Analysis
A Madden SEO Analysis will give you a comprehensive look at how your site is ranking for different keywords and phrases—it even compares your site to competitors. Search engines calculate how relevant your content is when compared to millions of other pages available. There are many things considered by the search engine algorithm in less than a second before it delivers the searcher’s results—location, site traffic, keyword density, and authority all factor into where a site ranks on the search results page.
Knowing what’s working well and where you can improve helps you focus your efforts. The key here is to have realistic expectations—unless a traveler types in your exact brand name on the search bar, odds are that your website will probably not rank #1. For example, if your site ranks 47 out of 100 or shows up on page 9 of the search results, it may be unrealistic to get to that first page without the help of paid search. Working on your “striking distance” keywords where you can move from #10 up to #6 or from the top of page 2 to get onto page 1 is the best way to spend your time and resources.
Step 2: Make a plan and take action
So you know which keywords have the biggest opportunity to improve your site’s rank on a search engine—now what? The name of the page you want to improve is the first thing you check. As awesome as the algorithms are, they simply cannot compete with a human brain when it comes to syntax. For example, if your “Things to Do” page is called “Play”, your site may not rank as high. The use of the keyword or phrase within image names and naturally throughout the copy of the page also comes into play.
Increasing traffic is another way to make your site more appealing. A TripAdvisor “Things to Do” page for your destination will probably rank #1 because their overall site gets over 13 million visitors per day. More people coming to your site makes the search engine want to send other people to your site as well, which is why Search Engine Marketing and Search Engine Optimization go hand in hand. Another opportunity to consider is to have your site linked on influencer or authoritative sites, and to use your site influence to help your partners. The algorithms notice these back links referring to your site for more information and see that as a sign of a reputable resource.
Step 3: Never stop improving
Nurturing your SEO and continuously enhancing your website content is a must. Organic traffic doesn’t change overnight—improving your rank is a marathon, not a sprint. Keeping your website up to date and adding current information, new images, videos, and more will contribute to boosting your credibility. As we discussed in our SEM series, search engine algorithms prefer to recommend sites that load quickly on any device.
Looking for more ways to raise the bar? Adding new content to your site in tandem with strong distribution tactics is important, but not just any content will do. Blog posts on your site are helpful, but their timestamp makes them irrelevant to search engines within a couple years. Using a competitive content strategy for your website, such as Amplified Storytelling, allows you to incorporate the search terms travelers are looking for and inspire audiences. Our team of experts recommend adding this type of evergreen content to your website throughout the year to keep travelers coming back to your site.
Figuring out where you stand compared to the competition, creating a solid strategy, making smart changes over time and creating relevant content will help your site rank better and appear higher in search engine results. Want more insight on how to step up your website SEO? Contact us and start a conversation with our team of experts.